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Families (continued) Correlates. Correlates (continued) High levels of conflict Escalation of conflict More likely to have witnessed violence.

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Presentation on theme: "Families (continued) Correlates. Correlates (continued) High levels of conflict Escalation of conflict More likely to have witnessed violence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Families (continued) Correlates

2 Correlates (continued) High levels of conflict Escalation of conflict More likely to have witnessed violence

3 Broken homes Early studies found a relationship, later studies have not been as definitive Single parent (never married) vs. divorced vs. abandoned Biased nature: JJS treats children of broken home differently than those of two parent families

4 Broken home Self-report studies: youths from one parent and two parent homes as likely to self- report delinquency Children of one-parent homes more likely to show up in juvenile justice statistics Substance abuse self-reported more in one parent and in 2 parent w. step parent

5 Correlates Some research suggests that children living with a step parent and a natural parent are even more at risk Conflict might be the important variable, rather than the living arrangement itself Several types of information suggest this

6 Broken homes Children growing up with a widowed parent do better than children of divorce Children whose parents remarry have as many problems as children whose parents are divorced Post-divorce conflict is related to child problems Thus, conflict might be important variable

7 Broken homes Single parent risk factors Mothers who get divorced experience on the average a 30% decline in standard of living Economic: poverty, unemployment, culture of poverty, growing up in deteriorated neighborhoods with high crime rates

8 Factors in broken homes Educational: a single parent who has never finished high school will have children at higher risk Children whose fathers are absent are much less likely to finish high school. School failure is associated with delinquency

9 Broken homes Supervision probably a key issue in explaining the delinquency/broken home relationship Interacts with education and income: wealthier single parents can find ways to keep children supervised

10 Broken homes The younger a parent has children, the worse the risks The importance of social support from family, relatives, etc. Important variables: age, income level, educational level, social support

11 Abuse Abuse: physical, sexual, psychological Neglect (might be related to lack of bonding) Perhaps 1 million cases of abuse each year Sexual abuse high among certain populations: adolescent sex offenders, runaways, and adolescent substance abusers

12 Abuse: correlates Alcoholism Poverty and associated stress Parents who were abused themselves (although many abused children do not become abusers) Unrelated adult in the household (I.e., step parent)—both physical and sexual abuse Isolated families, an isolated parent—parent may appear to be obsessed with family

13 Abuse correlates Often have unrealistic expectations of children’s developmental stages More likely in single parent families where there is no other family member Less likely if another family member is living there (grandmother, sister, etc.) Parent most at risk: young, unemployed, more likely to be female, teen mother

14 Studies of abuse and delinquency 30%-65% of juvenile justice populations likely to have been abused (depends on the specific nature of the population) Children referred to DFS for abuse have a greater likelihood of going to juvenile court as adolescents, as compared to control groups

15 Studies of abuse Widom’s study suggests that abused children have a 30% greater likelihood of going to juvenile court Greater likelihood of committing violent crimes in adulthood Neglect not as well-studied. Extreme neglect particularly associated with later crime and violence

16 Procedures in abuse/neglect Mandatory reporting by gatekeepers Hotlines High level of unfounded reports Investigation by DFS Home visit within 24 hours Police, removal from home

17 Abuse and neglect Investigation, findings Potential prosecution Most cases settled by a consent decree rather than a trial Disposition: could be removal from home (temporary or permanent), foster care, visitation, or stay in the home

18 Abuse Most likely: develop a case plan. If the parent(s) comply, will get to keep their children or get them back Failure to follow plan could mean that the parent(s) loses children

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